Difference between revisions of "Leigh, Kent Genealogy"

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Revision as of 14:06, 13 December 2012

England  Gotoarrow.png  Kent England  Gotoarrow.png  Kent Parishes

Leigh St Mary Kent.jpg

Parish History

LEIGH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of SevenOaks, partly in the hundred of Somerden, but chiefly in that of Codsheath, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 3¾ miles (W.) from Tonbridge. This parish, from various ancient records, appears to have been formerly of considerable importance, and to have included a portion of that of Penshurst.[1]

Leigh, historically spelled Lyghe, is a village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks district of Kent

Leigh (pronounced Lye) St Mary is an Ancient Parish which includes Hollanden in the Diocese of Rochester; a map pf the parish boundary is available at A church near you.

The church was originally built in the 13th century, a fire in reign of Henry VII destroyed part of it and restoration has taken palce in subsequent centuries. 

In 1860-61 the church underwent considerable reconstruction. At the time, the chancel was the responsibility of the Lay Rector, who in this case was Lord de Lisle, while the parish was responsible for the rest of the building. The two parties employed different architects; Lord de Lisle using George Devey, and the parish Charles Bailey, a cousin of Thomas Farmer Bailey, the owner of Hall Place. The two architects used different types of stone, as is obvious when viewing the outside of the building.

Further rebuilding between 1889 and 1892 was undertaken.

See Edward Hasted The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3 (1797), pp. 258-275 at British History Online  and Kent Churches website

The church of St Mary Leigh has been designated as a grade II* listed building British listed building

Penshurst Airfield  later RAF Penshurst is within the parish and was used in both World Wars and closed in 1946, it included a period as an alternate civil aviation landing landing for Croydon Airport in bad weather. In the Second World war it served as an emergency landing ground.RAF Penshurst Wikipedia

See Leigh North West Kent Family History Society for other places of worship and Leigh St Mary


Civil Registration

See Sevenoaks Registration District 1837-1941 Tonbridge Registration District

Kent County Council (KCC) has a certificate centre at the Mansion House in Tunbridge Wells which holds all the completed registers for Kent since 1 July 1837 and can supply a certified copy of any Kent birth, death or marriage entry from any register within its custody or a Kent civil partnership registration from the government online database.

The Mansion House
(Certificate Centre)
Grove Hill Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 1EP

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

Kent Online Parish Clerks (OPC)

International Genealogical Index 1562-1598; 1638-1885 (Extracts) Batches (C131551-C131553) Marriages 1560-1597; 1638-1885 (Extracts) Batches (M131551-M131553)

Original deposited registers were formerly held at:

Centre for Kentish Studies,County Hall,Maidstone,Kent ME14 1XX

From Spring 2012 material formerly held at
Centre for Kentish Studies,County Hall,Maidstone,Kent ME14 1XX
is available at Kent History and Library Centre see Kent Archives which also enables a search of the catalogue for Kent Archives material deposited at Canterbury Cathedral Archives

Family History Library film numbers
See also England, Kent, Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records.

Land Tax

Images for Bidborough, Leigh and Tonbridge are available at FamilySearch Records see England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments (FamilySearch Historical Records) 1780-1832

Census records

Census Returns for Leigh 1841-1891

FamilySearch Records includes collections of census indexes which can be searched online for free. In addition FamilySearch Centres offer free access to images of the England and Wales Census through FHC Portal: Computers here have access to the Family History Centre Portal page which gives free access to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.
[1] to locate local Family History Centres in UK
[2] to locate outside UK.
Many archives and local history collections in public libraries in England and Wales offer online census searches and also hold microfilm or fiche census returns.

Images of the census for 1841-1891 can be viewed in census collections at Ancestry (fee payable) or Find My Past (fee payable)

The 1851 census of England and Wales attempted to identify religious places of worship in addition to the household survey census returns.

Ancestry UK Census Collection

Find my Past census search 1841-1901

Prior to the 1911 census the household schedule was destroyed and only the enumerator's schedule survives.

The 1911 census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911 and in addition to households and institutions such as prisons and workhouses, canal boats merchant ships and naval vessels it attempted to include homeless persons. The schedule was completed by an individual and for the first time both this record and the enumerator's schedule were preserved.
Two forms of boycott of the census by women are possible due to frustration at government failure to grant women the universal right to vote in parliamentary and local elections. The schedule either records a protest by failure to complete the form in respect of the women in the household or women are absent due to organisation of groups of women staying away from home for the whole night. Research estimates that several thousand women are not found by census search.
Find my Past 1911 census search

Poor Law Unions

Penshurst Poor Law Union,Kent until 1836

Sevenoaks Poor Law Union, Kent

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Kent Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

See England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Local Family History Centre

Maidstone Family History Centre, Kent

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England(1848), pp. 62-65